Saskatchewan

'It brings healing to me': Sixties Scoop survivor encouraging others to share

A Sixties Scoop survivor is starting a sharing circle in Regina to help adoptees learn from others' experiences.

Weekly meetings scheduled at White Pony Lodge in Regina

Leticia Racine in the arms of her adopted mother May 4, 1978. (Radio-Canada)

A Sixties Scoop survivor is starting a sharing circle in Regina to help adoptees learn from others' experiences.

Leticia Racine is sharing her story as a way to help other survivors like her.

She will be hosting weekly meeting for survivors to unite at White Pony Lodge in Regina starting April 4.

"There's a place where we can share our story, where we can connect, and where healing can begin," she said.

'This is my truth'

Racine was in four foster homes before she turned six months old.

Her biological mother made the decision to leave Racine with the Manitoba Children Aid Society while she was struggling with an alcohol addiction.

"I remember a lot of fear," said Racine.

After her foster family filed to adopt her, she became the centre of a lengthy legal battle between her foster parents, biological mother, and Long Plain First Nation.

Sandra and Allan Racine, the only parents she knew, explained to her that she could be taken away from them.

"My band stood up and said that's enough of our kids being taken, were going to use this case to bring light to that, so using me as an example," said Racine.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of the adoptive family in 1983.

Leticia Racine was at the Saskatchewan legislature to hear from the government directly about a formal apology to her and fellow survivors of the Sixties Scoop. (CBC News)

"This is my truth and this is my story," said Racine.

"Every time I share my story and some of the pain I experienced growing up, it brings healing to me."

Racine's story is one of many from the period known as the Sixties Scoop.

Thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in other homes, mostly non-Indigenous, between the 1960s and 1980s.

Racine's experience growing up didn't come without it's dose of trauma and violence.

She said she was sexually assaulted at the age of four.  As a teenager, she suffered from addiction and was involved in gangs.

Racine said she began to heal once she discovered her cultural identity.

She learned she was Ojibwa and reached out to others to help teach her about her traditions and spirituality. 

"Those teachings are still serving me today and that's where I connected," said Racine.

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